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Zeke 01-19-2016 11:43 PM

Enterprise Secret Santa
 
You may have noticed we still have the Christmas banner up on the front page. There's a reason for that. (And it's not just to spite evay, who scolds me sometimes when I go past Epiphany. Superstition and balderdash!)
<p>This is an ENT update -- and the biggest one since the <i>Dirty Pair</i> pastiche. But before I can show you, I need to do a little explaining.
<p>As you know, I'm into anime and manga. One of my personal favourites is <i>Bleach</i>, a long-running shounen series with remarkable depth and artistry behind the swordplay. It has an obscene number of characters, so the learning curve is steep, but well worth it -- I get more out of the series on each reading. (Trivia fact: I first checked it out on Jim Wright's recommendation.)
<p>Now, <i>Bleach</i> has a big fandom, and I recently became addicted to one of the best things in it: <a href="http://bleachlists.tumblr.com/">Bleach Lists</a> on Tumblr. Created by Bleach Lists Girl (BLG), it's now in its fourth year, with literally thousands of lists posted (she used to post four a day!). You'd think it would get old after a while, but BLG is consistently hilarious, always finding new spins to put on things.
<p>Let me put it this way: over the last couple of months I've made it most of the way through the archives on my phone, taking screenshots of all the funniest bits. I have taken <i>well over a thousand</i>.
<p>Now if you poke around the blog a bit, you'll notice that BLG's style is very similar to mine here at 5MV -- her posts are basically chattier Top 10 lists with fiver scenes mixed in. It struck me that some of her list concepts would work well here too; maybe I could use one for a <a href="../features/thedisbanding2.html">Disbanding</a>-sort of thing that would double as my tribute to Bleach Lists. And then I noticed that BLG's birthday was coming up. (She shares my holiday-season birthday pain. Hers is January 14 -- the same as Rukia, <i>Bleach</i>'s female lead.) And <i>then</i> I realized which of her list ideas was the perfect one for both occasions!
<p>What follows has nothing to do with <i>Bleach</i>, and 5ME fans can enjoy it fully with no outside knowledge -- but it is also a Bleach Lists tribute. It's written in her format, which differs a bit from mine (you'll quickly notice the biggest way). There's another connection I won't spoil that BLG's readers will spot immediately. And if she gets even a <i>fraction</i> of the laughs from this that I've gotten from her blog, I'll consider it a success.
<p>Ladies and gentlemen: <b><a href="../features/entsanta.php">Enterprise Secret Santa!</a></b>

Wowbagger 01-20-2016 12:07 AM

Hey, I liked "Bound"! Understood as a critique of the sexual revolution and its ultimately destructive, enslaving consequences for all concerned, it's actually quite progressive!

I actually really like this format. The decompression adds a lot of space for humor. 5ME S4 like this?

Secret Santa MVP: Travis by a mile.

Flying Gremlin 01-20-2016 12:14 AM

Tucker's pun about the shirt was awful at the end, which is why I loved it.

I am also glad Porthos did not give chili as a present.

Overall, I giggled.

Sa'ar Chasm 01-20-2016 02:31 AM

Quote:

Forrest: This is The Laws of Thought by George Boole.
Forrest: Do you like it?
Soval: Well, yes and no...

Wowbagger 01-20-2016 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flying Gremlin (Post 80450)
I am also glad Porthos did not give chili as a present.

Porthos can't give himself. That'd be weird.

I was a bit surprised (disappointed?) that they weren't joined by Enterprise's Most Feared Villainous Enemy: ...The Aibo.

Flying Gremlin 01-20-2016 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wowbagger (Post 80453)
Porthos can't give himself. That'd be weird.

That would really beg the question what he put into it in the first place. I would bet a mimetic simbiot - which would really be a case of putting yourself in your work.

Wowbagger 01-21-2016 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flying Gremlin (Post 80454)
That would really beg the question what he put into it in the first place. I would bet a mimetic simbiot - which would really be a case of putting yourself in your work.

I'm going to like this as soon as we upgrade to XenForo.

evay 01-23-2016 02:11 PM

Quote:

Chef: (pets him)

T'Pol: Next time let's tell the random number generator not to do that.

Archer: Oh, come on, it was cute.
hee hee hee

Quote:

Forrest: I've told you before, and now you can't deny it.

Forrest: We have logic on Earth.

Soval: LIES!
I wish we'd had webisodes of just those two bickering. Actually I could have gone for many webisodes of ENT characters bickering, particularly Trip and Malcolm.


I loved the entire bit with Silik and Reed; too long to quote.

Quote:

Reed: Just a big box of antimatter.

(Pause.)

Tucker: Malcolm, I have never liked you better than I do right now.
::falls to the ground weeping with laughter:: I am SO glad someone remembers the actual interactions the characters had and how they might not be willing to hit the Reset Button every week.

I'd actually managed to make myself forget about "Bound." I consider the Mirror eps to be the end of ENT and I ignore everything after that.

Wowbagger 01-24-2016 12:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by evay (Post 80459)

::falls to the ground weeping with laughter:: I am SO glad someone remembers the actual interactions the characters had and how they might not be willing to hit the Reset Button every week.

This joke actually went over my head. And it feels like it went JUST over my head, like I SHOULD get it but somehow don't.

What's with the antimatter box? Beyond the obvious fact that it'll blow up Phlox.

evay 01-24-2016 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wowbagger (Post 80460)
This joke actually went over my head. And it feels like it went JUST over my head, like I SHOULD get it but somehow don't.

What's with the antimatter box? Beyond the obvious fact that it'll blow up Phlox.

Phlox has a very different morality than the other crewmembers. He thought it was okay to allow the Valakian species to die off because it was their "evolutionary destiny." He created Sim, the clone of Trip, in order to harvest his brain tissue, but treats this sentient individual like a walking bag of parts, including refusing to hold his hand or stay with him as he was being put to death. He says outright in "Dead Stop" that his oath says "I can do no harm, but I can inflict as much pain as I like." He advised T'Pol to essentially become a sex worker to provide grief therapy for Trip, because a massage technique based on Vulcan physiology is not going to do bupkus for human physiology. (I ranted about this a lot on my website during Season 3 if you want to review it.) In "Singularity," Phlox nearly removed a chunk of Travis's parietal lobe.

Frankly, Phlox is a bit of a Dr. Frankenstein, and the crew doesn't necessarily have reason to love him. Zeke will have to answer specifically, but I read it as Malcolm taking revenge for everyone generally and for Trip in particular.

Wowbagger 01-24-2016 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by evay (Post 80461)
Frankly, Phlox is a bit of a Dr. Frankenstein, and the crew doesn't necessarily have reason to love him. Zeke will have to answer specifically, but I read it as Malcolm taking revenge for everyone generally and for Trip in particular.

Oh, yeah, granted -- and 5ME plays that up in a big way:

Quote:

Phlox: You look like a man with the weight of the world out his window, Captain.
Archer: Phlox... have you ever done anything unethical?
Phlox: Have I? Have I? HAHAHAHA!
Archer: See, I'm about to cross a line that I've never --
Phlox: I'm doing something unethical right now! I'm taking a coffee break in the middle of an organ transplant! And nothing's wrong with either organ!
Archer: I think I'll talk to someone else about this.

T'Pol: I'm feeling a bit better. Are the withdrawal symptoms fading?
Phlox: Perhaps -- but they may never fade completely. Your emotions may well continue to fight your control for the rest of your life.
T'Pol: I don't feel better anymore.
Phlox: Then I've done my job.

Archer: Don't treat me first, Doctor. Give the crew priority.
Phlox: I wasn't actually planning to treat you, but duly noted.
And that's just one episode.

But, until now, it has never seemed like anyone on the 5ME crew has wanted to kill him. They just take it in stride as one of his lovable quirks, like T'Pol's illogic, Sato's prissiness, and Reed's desire to blow up literally everything, including all his shipmates. It seemed like a leap, which is why I assumed there was more to the joke than "kill Phlox."

That said, demanding and expecting consistent character arcs and steady evolution from parody versions of actual characters is asking, perhaps, too much from this noble website.

EDIT: Alternatively, it may just have been a while since I read much 5ME, and I forgot parts where people expressed their desire to kill him.

Flying Gremlin 01-25-2016 09:34 PM

The edited point is accurate. Half of 5ME season 1 is dedicated to Trip failing to kill Phlox.

You fail at Spock-katra.

Wowbagger 01-26-2016 06:44 AM

Yeah, I'm re-reading now.

Man, Trip hates that guy.

I forgot how tied-up Phlox-hatred was in the Porthos/Chile/Aibo arc.

Flying Gremlin 01-27-2016 07:38 PM

Told you those therapy sessions at Tantalus weren't worth it.

Zeke 07-12-2016 11:59 PM

And now, a few notes I wrote up but forgot to post.
  • I really did randomize the order. BLG also makes a lot of randomized lists -- a point she sometimes has to stress when convenient pairs crop up, like Trip->Archer here.

  • "Lean and hungry look" is from <a href="http://shakespeare.mit.edu/julius_caesar/julius_caesar.1.2.html">Julius Caesar</a>.

  • The main reason for the sidebar about how Secret Santa is played is that BLG <a href="http://bleachlists.tumblr.com/post/38560258196/bleach-secret-santa">plays it the other way</a>. Me, I'm with Archer.

  • Shatner <a href="http://www.trektoday.com/content/2012/03/spinrad-filming-the-doomsday-machine/">really did that!</a>

  • The one 5ME reference you really have to know here is <a href="../enterprise/fiver.php?ep=provingground">Shran's cover story</a>. Minor running jokes include <a href="../enterprise/fiver.php?ep=theshipment">Xindi liking Star Wars</a> and <a href="../enterprise/fiver.php?ep=fusion">people calling things "meaty"</a>.

  • A data module looks like <a href="http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Data_module">this</a>. Hat tip to Wowbagger for helping me work out the ENT equivalent of isolinear chips.

  • I tend to treat VOY references as the common language of this site (a consequence of its origins). But with the show now 16 to 23 years old, new readers probably miss some of that stuff -- so for the record, compression phaser rifles were Janeway's weapon of choice (she famously tells Tuvok to break them out in the pilot). One of Jim's running jokes at Delta Blues was Betsy, Janeway's personal rifle.

  • Speaking of running jokes, the fweep creature is one of BLG's. It was created by Aizen Sousuke, the main villain of Bleach, in <a href="http://bleachlists.tumblr.com/post/79884043581/bleach-scienstists-argue-about-which-of-them-is">this list</a>. BLG has left its actual appearance completely up to the reader -- if you google it you'll find lots of different sketches.

  • It's no accident that Trip had a <a href="http://www.triphammered.com/extras/shirts.shtml">wacky shirt</a> lying around.

  • I discovered while writing the T'Pol/Dolim scene that "eat the book" is actually a Jewish and Christian expression meaning to deeply study and (sorry) digest the material. It comes from two Biblical incidents where God tells a prophet to eat a scroll (Ezekiel) or book (John the Divine). They both found the taste sweet. God likes doing callbacks like that.

  • I've halfway explained the disclaimer already. The other half is that Aizen is the master planner to end all master planners -- or at least claims he is. In one notorious scene he took credit for basically everything that ever happened to the main character <i>and his friends</i>.

Finally, re: above Phlox discussion, you guys know where I stand on him. (On the off chance you don't, I will never, ever let "Dear Doctor" go, and it terrifies me that so many reviewers agreed with him, including some friends of mine.) What's particularly interesting here, though, is that we're talking about this in a <i>Bleach</i>-related thread. That series includes a character who basically <i>is</i> the fiver version of Phlox: Mayuri Kurotsuchi, a gleeful mad scientist who never met an experiment he didn't like. He can be Doctor Who one moment and Mengele the next. And yet he's a Captain in Soul Society, the main group of good guys! The reason this sort of almost makes sense is that Soul Society has weird morality in general -- not evil, but weird -- and Mayuri is a super-genius that they couldn't really do without. Those of us with regular human morality would never be able to condone him, but he's fascinating, and Kubo Tite clearly loves writing (and drawing) him as much as I love writing Phlox.

evay 07-13-2016 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeke (Post 80521)
[*]It's no accident that Trip had a <a href="http://www.triphammered.com/extras/shirts.shtml">wacky shirt</a> lying around.

I miss his crazy shirts! I haven't been keeping too close an eye on con photos, but I haven't seen him in a fanblinder in years.


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